In Japan, car showrooms and dealerships now offer more than just vehicles to the local community. In fact, they also help the local community. Mitsubishi Motors Coporation (MMC) is currently creating a vast dealership network which offers electric vehicle charging, and can also help stabilize the local electricity supply of the grid. Furthermore, there are 28 Mitsubishi 'DENDO Drive Station' showrooms in Japan which use solar panels, and has the ability to use an EV's battery power as an emergency power source.
Now, the Japanese automaker has taken things a step further by opening the new Omiya 'Hyper Energy Station' in Saitama City. Unlike previous dealerships, this one has been fitted with its own lithium-ion battery packs, which acts as backup power to the local grid. Furthermore, the 12kWh batteries can even recharge EVs in an event of a natural disaster or power outage.
“As our cars have evolved to become EVs and PHEVs, it was a natural progression for showrooms to become charging stations. Now, we can use batteries to store zero emission electricity from roof top solar panels and use it to manage energy demand at the dealership. As for the future, we would like it to become a vital part of the power grid, providing sustainability, stability and security to the transport and energy infrastructure even in times of emergency,” said Takashi Hiromatsu, Assistant Division General Manager of Product Strategy Division at MMC.
The local government in Saitama City partially subisized the cost of the facilites. Furthermore, the dealership is now designated as a a Next-generation Automobile & Smart Energy Special Zone by the Japanese government. Run by Kanto Mitsubishi Motor Sales Group, the Omiya dealership is the fourth private facility and first automobile showroom to adopt the system.
Aside from the new 'Hyper Energy Station', MMC also hopes to increase the number of 'DENDO Drive Station' showrooms all over Japan from 28 to 200 by 2020.